Tis The Season For Teacher Bashing

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By John Hubbuch

Whenever there is a school referendum like District 97's on April 5th, there is open season for bashing teachers. The bashing derives from the fact that teacher compensation is a matter of public record and voter-taxpayers can more or less vote on  the future of that compensation by voting the referendum up or down. Imagine if you could vote on the compensation of Miley Cyrus, the President of AIG, hedge fund managers and the surly check out clerk at Walgreen's. What fun.                                                                           

Now  I like bashing as much as the next guy, but this bashing is tired and boring starting with the stunning revelation that some older, experienced teachers with Master's degrees plus 45 more hours of education make more than $100,000. Shocking. Did you know if you start at $40,000 and get a 3% raise every year for 35 years, you'll make a$100,000. There are lots of less experienced, less educated employees in the private sector that make that much.                                               

Another bash is the teachers have jobs for life. Not true. The majority of new teachers don't get tenure during the 4 year probationary period. Only the best of the best make it.  Thereafter lots of teachers get "counseled" out of the system by poor teaching assignments and bad evalutions. And lets be honest there are lots of bad employees in the private sector that hold on to their jobs like grim death. Take a look around the cubicle. It's hard to fire anyone in an American  with a white collar job unless he's a white male under 50.    

The criticism of teacher health and retirement benefits probably has some historical validity, but those benefits have been and will be reduced as the country, and schools in particular, have to do more with less. This basher battle has been over.                        

I think a lot of the bashing is autobigraphical. The basher is upset because he chose the wrong career path ,and he's jealous of the teachers. I got news. In the US of A there is no caste system. You can be a teacher . If you have a college degree you can take teacher education courses for a semester ,and student teach for another. In a year you can be a shiny new teacher. Now get picked out of hundreds of applicants, and you're on your way to a $100,000  in 35 years. 

 I say go for it, but please shut up.                                                                            

Reader Comments

71 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Again to Noel  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 8:28 AM

We are all still waiting for you to answer EJ's questions. Until you do, I don't care about any of your other "facts" or statistics.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 1:00 AM

@OP Res, NTU of IL has been consistent in their support for tax increases that go toward ineffective spending. Manhattan Institute & the Gates Foundation & others have funded research on ed to bring the entire Ed industry into the 21 Century. Almost all industries have changed in the last 20 yrs, except of Ed. CAOP's agenda is for more accountability & fiscally responsible spending for education. This tax increase is not going to increase teaching effectiveness & learning outcomes.

Noel Kuirakos  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 12:54 AM

@DaFacts, Yes they have cut $ from the budget, yet they have consistently spent more than revenue for yrs. The St Brd of Ed has placed D97 on review, only 20% of the state's districts received this while close to 70% received more favorable status. There are system spending issues that have not been addressed. The root cause is lack of accountability by the board who are stewards for tax payer $. Voting NO will send a clear message that there is a new normal & we expect cuts in salaries.

Who's Bashing Teachers??  

Posted: March 30th, 2011 12:43 AM

John, I too am disappointed in your mushy letter that is more of the same blather we have been reading for the last 20 years. Who is bashing the teachers? this is not a personal or emotional argument. My wife and I both work full time jobs and our property tax bill is now more than our mortgage. How did this happen? We had to borrow against our savings to pay the most recent tax installment. How do we pay when it goes up again and again. It's very simple John, we can't afford anymore. Period

Resident from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2011 9:18 AM

...raising the status of teaching.'" The online discussion shares many opinions.

Resident from Oak Park  

Posted: March 29th, 2011 9:17 AM

See NYT March 28 "How to Raise the Status of Teachers" discussion. Intro: "The report, 'What the U.S. Can Learn From the World's Most Successful Education Reform Efforts,' found that in high-scoring countries like Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Canada and South Korea, teachers have higher status and are typically paid better relative to other workers. It also noted, 'countries that have succeeded in making teaching an attractive profession have often done so not just through pay, but by...

The Facts  

Posted: March 29th, 2011 8:20 AM

Noel, you failed to answer any of EJ's questions. I don't care who EJ is but you have publicly went on record with some inaccurate statements, yet question D97 and every comment that is made by the Board/Adm. The fact is the budget has been cut for the last several years. So unless we want to increase class size, now we will have to cut some classes most of us want to keep (art, music, Spanish). Increased class size or non-CORE subjects? That's the decision. And I am not a "sucker," Noel.

JG Morales  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 7:38 PM

While I'm here... I would like to agree with what others have said about the emotional appeal of the "Yes" side. I'm one who doesn't understand why the taxes are so high, and yet we need to cut everything. This doesn't seem like a problem that more money will fix.

JG Morales  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 7:27 PM

I'm not a basher, but... The difference between Miley Cyrus and teachers is that we can choose to buy or not buy her albums/products/services. We have very little control in this way over educators. We can choose to boycott a store (I know I've taken my business elsewhere more than a few times) if you're not happy with the management, staff, or product. It's not as easy when dealing with educators. We don't have the same options with teachers, police officers, and state employees.

OP Resident  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 6:49 PM

Noel - while I agree with you on the need for some teacher compensation reform, I would be careful using the Manhattan Institute as your reference for study data. They have a long history that is less than objective. Much like partnering with the National Taxpayers United for that mailing, you start to look more and more like you have an agenda that has little to do with actually improving D97.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 5:46 PM

D97 has spent about $13K per pupil yet the scores of our minority population (Black & Hispanic) continue to be way behind their White & Asian counterparts. Will this tax increase close this gap? NO. is there a plan to close this gap using the proceeds of the tax increase? NO. Is there specific metrics that are verifiable & measurable that will allow us to monitor this progress. NO. Will teachers & admin continue to receive their raises? YES. Voting NO is a change to the status quo.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 4:59 PM

And I'll ask again, besides making AYP, what do you believe are appropriate metrics and outcomes for teachers and administration? I also did a little research into the $50,000 in cabs you cited on your site. It is used to provide transportation for special education students with out of district placements, and is more cost effective than providing busing. Do you have an issue with the district providing this state mandated transportation?

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 4:52 PM

Fifth, you continue to side step the fact that your disseminating misinformation to the general public, such as the statement that $5 million will be spent on the beautification at one school. Where did you get that information? Sixth, why does my anonymity annoy you so much, Mr. Kuriakos? Should I not enjoy the same right as the other people on this site?

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 4:47 PM

First, I used several of the same districts you've used time and time again to make your points. Second, who are all cheerleaders for Superintendent Collins? Third, the graph I pointed out before clearly shows that test scores have actually increased across the board. Fourth, once again you fail to acknowledge that several of the people on your $100K list are individuals who were classroom teachers that earned the principal position at six of the district's elementary schools.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 4:40 PM

Mr. Hubbuch should actually look at the salary data for D97 for the last ten yrs. Perhaps he can explain how some teachers doubled their comp in LESS THAN TEN yrs. Perhaps he can explain why in other professions, where someone who starts out at $40K does not end up making $100K in 35 yrs. There is a disconnect between economic reality & compensation. It has only surfaced now because the good times are over. Voting NO will put a stop to this, so we can implement more rational practices.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 4:34 PM

Mr. Hubbuch fails to mention that math & science teachers are in short supply. In fact about 40% of teachers who teach math & science today in K-8 did not major in those subjects in college. Teaching has a low barrier to entry. But tenure creates a high barrier of exit, keeping younger, more effective teachers out. Each year of tenure increases opportunity costs. For a teacher making $100K we could have had two. Voting NO is a vote to change this madness. Our children deserve better.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 4:30 PM

[Public school teachers, on average, are paid 36% more per-hour than the average white-collar worker and 11% more than the average professional specialty and technical worker. In the end, the pay of public employees is largely shaped by political judgments that incorporate subjective values & preferences. Because the level of public school teacher pay is set by governments with taxing power, the market has only a limited influence.] http://bit.ly/fHgQRI

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 4:28 PM

[According to the BLS, full-time public school teachers in the Chicago area work on average 33.7 hrs per/wk. This include time for grading, preparing for class etc. Increasing the pay of teachers relative to others in an area will do nothing to increase student achievement. Similarly, simply spending more on schools and lowering class sizes doesn't produce higher achievement.]

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 4:10 PM

@EJ, the current supporters of the the referendum were the same cheerleaders who heralded Sup Collins when she came on board. The current Board stood by while she lowered expectations, hired expensive teachers & brought in 'specialists' whose goal was to increase test scores at particular schools. There is no evidence that the past behavior of this board will change. A NO vote is a vote for change. Tax payers have reached a tipping point where more money is not going to inc accountability.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 4:05 PM

@EJ, you seem to be sure that Sup Roberts is worth his salary yet fail to state any single measure as to why that is the case. I could easily select other districts with similar demographics and state that he is over paid. We need to pay for PERFORMANCE & OUTCOMES. You seem to want to avoid a discussion using data while continuing with the ad hominem statements. You seem to want to hide behind your anonymous identity instead of having a discussion about the facts and the referendum. Desperate

@E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 3:57 PM

First of all, let me say that the tone of this referendum debate (on both sides) has left me genuinely sad. But to the point about salaries, consider this information as a point of comparison: $174,000 US District Court judges; $184,500 US Court of Appeals Circuit Court judges; $213,900 US Supreme Court, Associate Justices; $223,500 US Supreme Court, Chief Justice Maybe all superintendent salaries are out of control?

Luke Scottwalker from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 3:48 PM

I support the teachers (troops), I don't support their union (mission)...Those not supporting the referendum have well proven concerns with the structure and the accountability of D97, not with the majority of teachers themselves. Intellectually a very lazy commentary, John. You can do better..We need to remove the emotional appeals from the Yes side and replace them with logic, reason, and facts. So far I've not heard any in the months I've been closely following this process.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 3:43 PM

As for your comments about Superintendent Roberts' salary, I did a little research of my own and found that the superintendents of districts 90 and 200, as well as Elmhurst, Wilmette, Glenview and Evanston, all make more money than he does and receive more in terms of health insurance benefits. Plus, I don't think $195,000 is too much for someone with 40 years of experience who came from a district where several of its schools earned national or state-wide Blue Ribbon status.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 3:34 PM

but have no problem publicly calling referendum supporters "suckers."

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 3:34 PM

You insist on pummeling the district and the yes group about the ballot question "scare tactics," and yet you are doing the exact same thing with flyers that are filled with misinformation. You cry foul at the Holmes forum because people are "heckling" you, but have no problem pucalling referendum

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 3:26 PM

In addition, at a previous forum, you said you've been concerned about the district for the past two years. Yet, I bet if I looked through all of the board minutes, your name wouldn't appear once in the public comment section. Plus, you have a child in seventh grade now, which means you were a D97 parent before the current CBA was signed with the teachers. Did you ever share your thoughts about metrics and performance pay back then?

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 3:22 PM

If a handful of kids in one sub-group have a bad test day, which I think we can all relate to, a school might not make AYP. Glad to see this is your ultimate basis for teacher evaluation. Also glad you continue to ignore the fact that, according to pages three and four of http://www.op97.k12.il.us/Student_Achievement_Report.pdf, test scores in D97 have either gone up every year since 2006 or stayed steady in the low to upper 90s.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 3:14 PM

Noel - first, I wasn't the one who asked about your personal situation. Frankly, it is none of my business how much you pay in taxes, what your wife does for a living, etc. Second, thank you for not answering a single one of my questions. Instead, you counter with a plethora of your own questions and talking points. Lastly, seems like your only metric for evaluating teacher performance is ISAT/AYP. Perhaps every minute of every day and every resource should be spent prepping kids for the test.

Interesting from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 2:29 PM

@Andy. I agree. I just find it tiresome when, for instance, Hubbuch in his last paragraph, writes that others can obtain the cert, etc and earn $100K - but then smashes in your face "not a chance!" - there's "hundreds of applicants"! The logical inference is "I've got mine and so sit down, shut up, vote yes!" Then others state that they "could" make lots more in private sector, but "sacrificed" to be a teacher. Humbug. No one hires El Ed grads outside of ed except in, maybe, retail.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 2:14 PM

Most studies show that if you use measures that matter; teaching effectiveness, learning outcomes, student engagement, then tax payers are willing to bear higher taxes. This is NOT the case with D97. Our test scores are plateauing, we have good teachers being fired because of 'quality blind' criteria (if you are tenured and average you get to stay while new teachers who are better are let go), administrator getting salary increases even though their schools are failing minimum state standards.

Andy from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 2:08 PM

I've definitely heard teachers getting bashed, and perhaps we all agree here that it is inappropriate. Noel asks good, logical questions. I wish others would focus on those issues and not take it out on the teachers.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 2:00 PM

No one is bashing teachers. We are calling out the method to the madness of paying them. Again, why aren't supporter presenting measurable & verifiable metrics to justify paying some teachers $100K ? Or giving teachers yearly pay inc w/o commiserate increases teaching effectiveness & learning outcomes? Why are admins' health ins costs covered by taxpayers? Why are teachers with single medical coverage not sharing in the cost? GREAT teachers should be paid well using measurable metrics.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 1:56 PM

Most private orgs & non-profits tie wage increases to productivity increases. Why doesn't D97 include increases in teaching effectiveness & learning outcomes as part of teacher eval? Why didn't the board tie Sup Roberts comp to specific, measurable & verifiable metrics? Why doesn't the board or the admin provide us with specific metrics that will improve if the referendum passes? 21st Century schools systems are managed using measures that matter. Voting NO will change this.

Andy from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 1:54 PM

I too have been disappointed by the teacher bashing I've heard in the community. They are deserving of our respect. It's fair to debate the merits of the proposed referendum and possible refirms, but it's not fair to bash the teachers.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 1:52 PM

D97 change in operating costs per pupil has increased by a factor of 10 over the change in enrollment over the last 10 yrs. http://triblocal.com/oak-park-river-forest/community/stories/2011/03/unsustainable-costs-vote-no/ More taxes will only go toward paying higher salaries without the commiserate increase in teaching effectiveness and learning outcomes. This is the 21st century yet we pay teachers as if we are in the 20th century. Then we wonder why we have this fiscal crisis.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 1:50 PM

First of all I have been unemployed for a year not 2 years. Have you heard of needs vs wants? We as a family has cut back on our wants & focused on our needs. My wife still has her job so we are getting by. Believe it or not I have planned for this scenario over 5 yrs ago and I SAVED up for it. It not rocket science. EJackson, why are you hiding? Why not use your real name. Then we can have a conversation. What are you afraid of?

Interesting from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 1:03 PM

@EJackson. I'm witnessing the carnage being wrecked upon the last years of college grads with El Ed/Eng/Hist/MLS degrees. It is brutal. I know many personally. NONE of them are capable of obtaining a degree in accy or engineering. There is a reason why there are hundreds of applicants for each teaching position - only slightly related to teacher RIFs. In the meantime, I keep reading about how so many employed teachers could have chosen to earn bonuses, etc. Nice people & impt, but please.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 12:45 PM

@Interesting - I have a hunch that there are plenty of teachers who will be happy to respond to your enlightened view on their profession.

Interesting from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 12:41 PM

@EJackson. I keep reading about the insane wealth earned by "friends in the private sector" from you and, yesterday, Julie (a teacher), but that's not my experience. Sure, Wall St has this, but I don't think that 1/100,000 teachers have the ability to land one of those jobs. The SAT annually reports that ed majors have the lowest Math scores. That's why hundreds apply for El Ed jobs - because it's one of the easiest BA's to obtain and D97 pays a lot - and summers off! Great pensions, too!

Robert T  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 12:35 PM

As long as we are asking questions, Noel, and since you chose to publicly call out the tax bills for Ms. Song and Mr. Traczyk in several recent forums, perhaps you can explain how you promote the fact that you have been unemployed for two years, but live in a house that had a recent tax bill of $17,655 and reside in a neighborhood with a median salary of more than $127,000. Did you simply not pay your taxes?

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 12:24 PM

Lastly, perhaps you could speak more eloquently about the district's success with the achievement gap and academic plans for the future if you had read any of the various reports delivered to the board this year, all of which are public documents.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 12:23 PM

cont. - Perhaps you can explain what you meant when you suggested replacing principals with master teachers or outsourcing art and music instruction to private tutors, which I believe contradicts the petition you are circulating to "save" the district's art and music programs from the chopping block. Perhaps you can also explain what you meant when you said that all the people buying into the emotional aspects of the referendum are "suckers."

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 12:22 PM

cont - Perhaps you can explain how you came up with the $756 figure on the property tax one based on the Tribune article, especially using the $38 per $1000 calculation Mr. ElSaffar says is correct. Perhaps you can explain how diversity has decreased in Oak Park since there have been significant increases in the Asian and Hispanic communities since the last census.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 12:22 PM

Noel, while we are waiting to hear from John, perhaps you can explain where the "$5 million will be spent on grounds beautification at one school" listed on one of your flyers comes from since, according to the presentation from the November 18 community forum on the referendum, the total investment in schoolyards at all 10 schools if the referendum passes is estimated to be $2.8 million.

Noel Kuriakos  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 12:02 PM

John, perhaps you can explain how 4 schools failed AYP even though most certified employees received a raise. Or perhaps you can explain how about 10% to 20% of the kids in K-8 pass from grade to grade without actually meeting state standards, while the teachers & admins received raises. Or perhaps why teachers and admins' pay is not tied to student performance. In the private sector and in the non-profit sector, pay is based on objectives that can be measured and verified. Is ed different?

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 11:07 AM

Honestly, chet, the $100K really doesn't bother me, especially since it is earned after several decades spent in education or through a significant position change (e.g., teacher to principal). Just like I didn't begrudge my friends in the private sector who received five figure bonuses at Christmas time several years in a row, which I know will undoubtedly spark the performance debate.

chet21 from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 10:40 AM

@EJackson. I believe that it was Mr. Hubbuch who raised the issue of the $100K salary - and he supported it. Also, here is the present salary table for D97: http://www.op97.org/job/cert10-11.html I don't know if you're trying to set up a straw-man argument about the $100K, but, FYI, those earning $90K plus after 20 or so years seems substantial.

Brenda from Oak Park  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 9:07 AM

The teachers that my children have had in both District 97 and 200 have been excellent. Of course some are better than others, but we should be very proud of our teahcers in Oak Park and certainly not lash out at them.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 9:03 AM

cont. - Those who don't believe it will help should look at the fact that they just tabled a policy at their last meeting to study it further after receiving feedback from the community.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 9:03 AM

cont. - Mr. Traczyk has said he is committed to studying the options for a more performance-based contract for teachers. Since most of the people on this board will be around when the times comes to negotiate the next deal, then we must hold them to this commitment by participating in the process (attend board meetings, make public comment, e-mail or write letters to the board, etc.).

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 9:02 AM

cont. - . In addition, I believe either a D97 board member or a yes from the rep group said during one of the final two forums that there are currently six certified staff members in the district making a $100K salary. Lastly, whether you agree or disagree with the current teacher contract, voting no isn't going to change it. I believe D97 when it says the cuts for next year are the cuts. After that, you're looking at grade level centers, which could be in place by fall 2012.

E. Jackson  

Posted: March 28th, 2011 9:01 AM

Folks, not all teachers in D97 are making $100K. Furthermore, Mr. Kuriakos fails to mention in his "doubling salary in 10 years" argument that people on that list include individuals who have gone from being classroom teachers to earning the position of principal at Beye, Hatch, Irving, Lincoln, Longfellow and Whittier, which warrants an increase in pay.

Bravo from Oak Park  

Posted: March 27th, 2011 11:57 PM

Thanks for telling like it is John. It's especially galling that the dude leading the anti-referendum charge presents himself as an out-of-work hardship case when his household is apparently doing quite well financially (thanks to his wife's very comfortable earnings). Nothing like transparency!

Slipped Through The Cracks  

Posted: March 27th, 2011 8:31 PM

I never learned nothing from no teacher.

Dear John from Oak Park  

Posted: March 27th, 2011 8:22 PM

No teachers started at $40,000 35 years ago. A first year teacher at D97 today only starts at $43,000. Where'd you get this "new math" figure? No, they're at $100K today because their annual increases were much higher than CPI. They then received super-bonuses their last couple of years SOLELY to boost their pensions - which start at age 57. That's 10 years before our paltry social security checks begin. Full disclosure, my wife is not a teacher - doesn't your wife collect a teacher pension?

I agree! from Oak Park  

Posted: March 27th, 2011 7:59 PM

@DC. I agree, the economy has gone "kablooey" and when the tide ran out......society has realized that we're broke. It gets worse, though, we're both broke AND asked to go broke(r) by paying more of the money that we don't have - to people who have guaranteed jobs (for life) and benefits that we can't even dream of. Is it asking too much that our pain is not made worse by these tax increases? NOTHING against D97, but we're hurting - and they seem to have no qualms of rubbing in the salt. Vote No

Janet M. from Oak Park  

Posted: March 27th, 2011 7:09 PM

@DC. Bravo! I completely agree. Let's not start turning on our teachers. Our experience with District 97 teachers has been nothing but incredibly positive.

DC  

Posted: March 27th, 2011 6:03 PM

The economy goes kablooey and all of a sudden teachers - or any other public sector working stiff in a union or with good benefits - is made the scapegoat. As if school teachers started two (or is it three or four now?) wars and created toxic mortgages! If the economy was robust we wouldn't be having these conversations.

LanceManion  

Posted: March 24th, 2011 12:15 PM

John, are you enjoying the attention your otherwise uninspired writing doesn't normally inspire? Clearly, you are picking a scab to get readers to respond. Come on man, you are better than that. Try to aspire to be more like those teachers you are lionizing and less like the readers you are criticizing. Even a sensationalist like yourself can understand where reasonable people could reach different opinions on the topic of the referendum and teacher compensation while still respecting teachers

DeJordy  

Posted: March 24th, 2011 12:01 PM

Benefits battle over? I hope not. The pensions promised to teachers are a bomb that is going to explode and destroy budgets. There are retired teachers aged 58 who are making more in pension than taxpayers like me, who have to work into our mid-60s make in salary. These retirees will collect all they put in about five years. Tell me how the math supports that.

Broke  

Posted: March 24th, 2011 11:27 AM

I'm voting no but do not consider myself a teacher "basher". There are MANY wonderful teachers in D97. Once again we're being encouraged to vote yes based on "FEELINGS". Voting with your feelings is not an educated vote. Look at the FACTS which are that the dollars are not there....Back to the basics: Increased un/underemployment & many foreclosures which translates into REFORM BEING NECESSARY. Cannot continue with the same old same old.

TellingItLikeItIs  

Posted: March 24th, 2011 10:42 AM

The 'teacher bashing' tag is about as productive as Ref proponents who call "No" voters hypocritical Christians and threaten boycotts of OP businesses. Of 46 large elementary districts in Cook County, D97 is 3rd in educational expenses and 19th in wealth, as measured by property tax base per student. To question the undeniably high salaries D97 pays in relation to our ability to pay them is not teacher bashing. Increasingly this ref seems to be about facing facts vs threats and peer pressure.

Julie from Oak Park  

Posted: March 24th, 2011 9:06 AM

I watched as my college friends moved to NYC & Chicago to work as investment bankers & consultants. They generally hated their jobs, but wow did they make $...hand over fist. Some of them have already retired. They took risks and those risks often paid off. They became wealthy and kept asking me when I would leave teaching. You could say I took a risk, too. My risk was to do what I love and know that I would never be wealthy but I would make a difference. Why now are my choices attack?

Julie from Oak Park  

Posted: March 24th, 2011 9:02 AM

When I began teaching 18 years ago, many friends asked me why I would accept a job with a starting salary of $36K when I had just completed an undergrad and grad education that totaled $150K. Friends asked why I would use kind of education just to be a teacher? Why? Because I love what I do, I love walking into the classroom every single day. I was and am excited that I can do what I love and make enough to live a quality life.

Questioning Isn't Bashing from OP  

Posted: March 24th, 2011 5:33 AM

John: We do get to "vote" on Miley Cyrus (change the station), the Walgreen's clerk (go to CVS), and AIG (take your business elsewhere). Engaging in a discussion about how we as a village or nation will get to real solutions on the current public pay and pension challenges isn't "bashing," but some with an entitlement mentality certainly feel threatened. We shouldn't stop the conversation...it's too important. Now, if we cross the line and attack individuals, that's bashing.

steve  

Posted: March 24th, 2011 12:46 AM

John, come on.... In your example, when the teacher retires, the pension will start at 81k and with COLA go to 100k over time, and add health benefits. Assume this person lives 20 years post retirement, the taxpayers will be paying a pension of more than $2 million dollars. And this employee has only contributed ~280k to their pension. No non CEO in the private sector gets a $2mm going away present. Sorry

Arc Light   

Posted: March 23rd, 2011 10:21 PM

"Teacher compensation competes with the private sector." If that is true, what happened up in Madison WI recently? - Average pay in WI - $47,000 benefits=$62,000 private sector. Teachers: $63,000 benefits $89,500. In other words this is not sustainable, plus that 2/3rds of 8th graders cannot read up to their grade level. Add Milwaukee high school graduation rate of 40%. This is why collective bargaining was taken out...

Arc Light  

Posted: March 23rd, 2011 10:11 PM

With the last 3 years of the private sector losing jobs, cutting pay, taking furlough days, working less than 40 hours a week, asking the administrators staff, and teachers to take a cut in their pay around (10%) would go a long way and the funds cut would be in operational costs. They (meaning all) teachers and staff can keep their jobs. But with the greedy NEA, thats not going to happen. If this referendum goes down in flames, 50 teachers will be shown out the door.

John Hubbuch from Oak Park  

Posted: March 23rd, 2011 8:59 AM

I completely agree that bad teachers need to removed faster and less expensively although I don't believe this problem is as big as many believe. The public/private bifurcation is interesting. It implies that since taxes pay for teachers then.... what? Lower salaries? Fewer benefits? Teacher compensation competes with the private sector.The two sectors are tied together.

epic lulz  

Posted: March 23rd, 2011 2:41 AM

Miley Cyrus, the President of AIG, hedge fund mgrs, et al are indeed PAID BY THE TAXPAYERS. They just are not paid with taxes. Well, except for the President of AIG... and hedge fund managers.

Arc Light  

Posted: March 22nd, 2011 10:19 PM

I don't bash good teachers they are worth their weight in gold, but I bash bad teachers, Union leaders and politicians who have a unholy alliance against Joe Six pack and Jill the soccer mom - That's us the TAXPAYERS! Anyway, Miley Cyrus, the President of AIG, Hedge Fund Managers and surly clerk at Walgreens - ARE NOT PAID BY THE TAXPAYERS. They are private sector and does not count.

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